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Ship Graveyard Simulator 2 Review

Have you ever wondered what happens to those once-mighty ships that have reached the end of their voyages?  Well, in Ship Graveyard Simulator 2, you get to answer that call by becoming a ship-scrapping master!  In this immersive world, you’ll transform from landlubber to ship-scrapping extraordinaire, dismantling colossal vessels and turning a tidy profit. Buckle up and prepare to explore the oddly satisfying world of breaking things down –  but will this be smooth sailing or a crash course on the rocks?  Read on to find out!

From Leviathan to Scrapheap: The Satisfying Work of Shipbreaking

The name of this game pretty much says it all – Ship Graveyard Simulator 2.  You take the helm as a shipbreaker, tasked with dismantling a fleet of colossal vessels beached on a sprawling shipyard.  Your objective?  To harvest valuable materials and turn a tidy profit.

Your character buys ship carcasses via their computer and then proceeds to meticulously dismantle them using a variety of tools to get the job done.  Attached to each available ship carcass are several contracts, each one requiring a specific set of items from the wreckage.  As you proceed and find each item, they are automatically ticked off of the list.  Once any contracts are complete, you have the option to return to your computer and claim the cash prize attached to it.

Once the overall scrapping job is complete and there is nothing left of the ship carcass, you can take the scrapped materials to the recycling centre where you can sort them in exchange for some money.  Sorting is carried out by a delightful minigame where you have to switch containers to match the colour (category) of the material on the conveyor belt.  You also earn a streak bonus for each successful match that you make, which adds another layer of enjoyment to this minigame.

The gameplay loop is deceptively simple.  You begin by selecting a ship from a growing roster.  Smaller starting ships ease you into the process, while later behemoths offer a more substantial challenge.  Equipped with a trusty blowtorch, cutter, and crane, you meticulously dissect the ship piece by piece.  Metals, plastics, and other materials fall into your inventory, to be sorted and deposited into your trusty truck.  Selling your haul unlocks upgrades for your tools, new areas of the shipyard, and even permits to tackle even larger vessels.

There’s a surprising depth to this seemingly repetitive process.  Different tools are effective for specific materials, requiring strategic dismantling.  Larger sections require the crane for careful manoeuvring, while careful application of the blowtorch can free up components without damaging valuable resources.  Mastering these techniques becomes oddly satisfying, a testament to the game’s core appeal.

There is no story as such, but there doesn’t need to be.  As with most simulator games, the focus is on what the simulator is about and making sure that you do it right.  Despite there being no overarching story, things remain interesting as the environment itself whispers tales of the ships’ past lives.  The rusting behemoths hint at epic voyages, while the variety of ship types – from nimble tankers to colossal cruise liners – ignites the imagination.  Uncovering hidden compartments or finding unique salvage items like old logs or photographs can spark a sense of discovery.  I even found a T-rex toy at one point and received a special, dedicated notification congratulating me on my find and telling me how important the T-rex was!  The problem with that, however, was that the notification kept mentioning bananas and how important they were, but I have no idea why!  Perhaps bananas were initially the secret/special item which was later changed to a T-rex.  Also, the message is written in poor English, meaning that it was very difficult to actually understand what it meant, which is a shame.

Tools, Techniques and Profit

There are several mechanics at play in Ship Graveyard Simulator 2.  Dismantling can be achieved by using a selection of various tools at your disposal.  These range from a simple hammer to calling in a crane to lift the larger/largest elements away.  You also have access to a blow torch, a circular saw and even explosives!

Certain materials require specific tools.  For example, you can use a hammer on things like iron panels but you can’t use it to dismantle welded metal such as stair railings.  Instead, you are required to use the circular saw to cut the pieces apart before giving them a final nudge to then dislodge them.

Driving materials that you have salvaged to the recycling centre seems simple enough – it’s only across the yard, a mere few hundred metres away.  However, should your truck hit even the slightest bump in the road, it is literally propelled up into the sky where it summersaults impressively all the way down again.  Another immersion-breaking aspect of the game is the slightly infuriating “sticking” fiasco.  If your vehicle should approach an in-game element at a particular angle, it will then become irretrievably stuck.

The only way to get out of this nightmare is to use the dedicated menu option for getting unstuck.  The menu option in question here is “CLICK WHEN YOU STUCK” and does precisely that.  It resets your vehicle’s and character’s positions on the map so that you can get back to all that ship-destroying goodness!  However, I found that I got stuck so frequently that I tried to avoid using my vehicle where possible as it was more hindrance than help.

I found that when there was a lot of debris to collect, it became slightly tedious having to repeatedly click or press E to pick each thing up because there was a slight delay while the animation played out.  It would have been much better for the animation to either be quicker or altogether removed as it doesn’t add anything to the experience.  Better still would have been the option to collect items en masse, as this would ease the level of tedium when there is lots to collect.

The method by which you transfer your salvaged materials into your truck is always fun.  So long as you have line-of-sight to your truck, no matter where you are on the wreckage, you simply press a button and you proceed to hurl an enormously heavy package through the air to land perfectly in the back!  This never gets old and makes for a pleasant experience.

A Lone Wolf’s Paradise

Ship Graveyard Simulator 2 is a single-player experience. However, it may have been nice to include a multiplayer aspect where you can work as a team to dismantle ships – especially the large ones – together in a more timely and efficient manner.

More Than One Voyage: Reasons to Keep Breaking Ships

While Ship Graveyard Simulator 2 might seem like a repetitive experience on the surface, it offers a surprising amount of replay value.  The star of the show is the diverse roster of ships, ranging from nimble tugboats that can be dismantled in a short amount of time to colossal cruise liners that pose a significant challenge. Each vessel presents a unique puzzle to solve, demanding a strategic approach to maximize your profit.

As you progress and hone your skills with the blowtorch, cutter, and crane, the act of dismantling becomes not just a means to an end, but a source of satisfaction in itself.  The methodical process of carefully separating valuable materials – the satisfying clangs of the cutter, the hiss of the blowtorch, and the crash of metal into your container – creates a strangely meditative experience.

The replayability, however, extends beyond the immediate gratification of dismantling.  The act of deconstruction also unlocks the secrets held within these once-majestic vessels.  There are hidden compartments that may contain rare salvage items (such as the aforementioned T-rex) or forgotten logs that offer glimpses into the ships’ past lives.

The environmental details themselves can spark the imagination and it is these small discoveries which add a layer of intrigue and help you connect with the history of the vessels you are dismantling.  However,  the lack of a narrative or long-term goals might limit the appeal for players seeking a more story-driven experience.

A Feast for the Eyes: The Shipyard Brought to Life

Ship Graveyard Simulator is really quite something to look at, utilising Unreal Engine 4 to create a visually impressive shipyard environment.  The towering ships, detailed textures, and dynamic lighting bring the scene to life.

Watching sparks fly from your blowtorch or hearing metal groan under the weight of the crane is strangely satisfying.  However, the environments outside the immediate work area can feel a bit bland and almost incomplete.

The audio design is equally immersive, with everything sounding exactly how you would expect it to.  The rhythmic clang of the cutter and the satisfying crunch of metal underfoot create a unique soundscape that perfectly complements the shipyard atmosphere.  The same cannot be said for the background music, however.  The music was indeed gentle, but it simply didn’t fit the whole experience and instead proved to be more of a distraction than an aid.  The music is gentle, and sounds like it could have originated from India, yet using it against a backdrop of dismantling ships, using cranes and sorting scrapped materials is an odd experience.  After half an hour with the game, I turned the background music off altogether.

Overall, despite the background music not fitting in with the overall theme, Ship Graveyard Simulator 2 is a visual treat, creating a believable and engaging world, immersing you in the experience of shipbreaking.

Conclusion

Ship Graveyard Simulator 2 offers a unique and surprisingly engaging experience.  The core gameplay loop of dismantling ships is surprisingly deep and satisfying, providing a relaxing yet strategic challenge.  Aspects such as frequently getting stuck within the environment are infuriating, however it is probably something that can be worked out in due course via a patch.  The variety of ships, the rewarding upgrade system, and the immersive world all contribute to a positive experience.  However, the lack of a narrative and a co-operative mode hold it back from reaching its full potential.

Pros:

  • Dismantling ships with strategic tool use offers a surprisingly deep and relaxing experience.
  • The diverse roster of vessels keeps the gameplay fresh and challenging.
  • The shipyard environment comes alive with detailed graphics and a captivating soundscape.
  • Upgrading your tools adds a layer of progression and allows you to tackle larger ships.
  • Uncovering hidden compartments and finding unique salvage items adds a touch of intrigue.
  • The game gets you thinking about the most logical way to dismantle enormous ship carcasses!
  • Setting off a chain reaction of floor collapses feels amazing!

Cons:

  • Getting stuck within the environment happens far too frequently and is immersion-breaking.
  • A cooperative mode could have significantly enhanced the experience.
  • The absence of a story might leave some players yearning for more direction.
  • A few minor bugs can disrupt the flow of gameplay.
  • There are several instances of poor English throughout which can make things confusing.

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